From the RAND Blog

Below, you'll find the most recent commentary from RAND experts on topics related to Asia. For a complete list of all commentaries by RAND staff, visit The RAND Blog.

  • President Barack Obama, left, and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, during their bilateral meeting at the G20 Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, Sept. 5, 2013

    Event

    The U.S.-Japan Alliance Conference Series

    Dec 5, 2014

    The U.S.-Japan alliance is the cornerstone of the U.S. presence in Asia. A series of three discussions with RAND experts and guest speakers (Nov. 6, Nov. 7, and Dec. 5) will explore new issues that have arisen for the alliance as a result of rapid, dramatic changes in the security, economic, and technological environments of Northeast Asia.

  • Afghan security forces arrive at the site of a blast in Kabul November 18, 2014

    Commentary

    What's the Plan? The NATO Coalition in Afghanistan

    Nov 19, 2014

    The imminent changes to the NATO mission in Afghanistan will be profound and, more crucially, carry unpredictable outcomes. After January 1, the removal of tens of thousands of coalition troops will trigger an inevitable period of adjustment as all sides involved in the conflict press for a new equilibrium that tilts in its favor.

  • U.S. President Barack Obama and South Korean President Park Geun-hye at a joint news conference in Seoul, April 2014

    Commentary

    N.K. WMDs Carry Catastrophic Potential

    Nov 19, 2014

    The failure of the United States and South Korea to prevent North Korea from gaining significant quantities of weapons of mass destruction saddles those governments with serious military responsibilities, should North Korea go to war or should its government collapse.

  • U.S. President Barack Obama and opposition politician Aung San Suu Kyi hold a press conference after their meeting in Yangon, Myanmar, November 14, 2014

    Commentary

    Myanmar's Slow Path to Democracy

    Nov 17, 2014

    The U.S. and its allies must act decisively and provide a strong foundation for Myanmar's long-term transformation. A failure to carefully guide the country's transition to a civilian rule would be a missed opportunity for the Obama administration and, more important, for Myanmar's 51 million citizens.

  • Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shakes hands with China's President Xi Jinping during a welcoming ceremony of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, in Beijing, November 11, 2014

    Commentary

    A Thaw in Asia

    Nov 17, 2014

    Chinese President Xi Jinping's meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe raised hope for the near term that the leaders of both countries can ease tensions between Asia's two largest economies. This marked a welcome turn from the past few years, which saw a serious downturn in China-Japan relations.

  • Afghan policemen in Kabul

    Commentary

    Afghanistan After America: A Fragile Stability

    Nov 14, 2014

    Since 2011, the United States, the Afghan government, and the Taliban have engaged in intermittent and often indirect talks about peace negotiations. It may be stalemate on the battlefield that eventually forces the parties to break this stalemate over the shape of a peace process.

  • The flags of China and Hong Kong are seen above tents outside Legislative Council Complex at an occupied area in Hong Kong November 11,2014

    Commentary

    The Mountains Are High and the Emperor Is Far Away

    Nov 11, 2014

    Since September 22, tens of thousands of protesters have flooded the streets of Hong Kong, calling for universal suffrage in the 2017 chief executive election and the resignation of current Chief Executive Chun-ying Leung. When they took to Twitter to share their ideas and mobilize support, they revealed the profound disconnect that separates elements of Hong Kong society from their mainland counterparts.

  • Afghanistan's CEO Abdullah Abdullah and President Ashraf Ghani walk with Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, October 3, 2014

    Commentary

    What's the Plan? The Afghan Government

    Nov 10, 2014

    With the election dispute settled, one can sense a feeling of hope and opportunity among the Afghan political spectrum. Members of each camp are voicing optimism and saying the right things, but before the unity government can address the country's issues, it must first clear the hurdle of appointing new leadership.